You must have read the recent brouhaha between Travelport and British Airways. It’s been all over the web. The companies are at loggerheads in negotiating a new partnership agreement. The latest move – from BA – was a threat to pull certain fares from Travelport’s GDS and stamp a surcharge on some short-haul tickets. Travelport reacted by calling British Airways “disruptive and unhelpful” and I believe the two are still in a stalemate.
Now, on paper, it’s easy to assume the wrangling and wrestling is all about money. But I’m not so sure. I’ve been quietly wondering whether BA is testing the water ahead of the introduction of NDC in three to four years’ time. Is BA working out – based on its market position and power – how much muscle it can flex and deals it can leverage knowing what’s down the line?
Is this a sign of things to come from some airlines? It couldn’t be truer that, these days, content is certainly king and the GDSs must be worried about being pushed down the path of partial content. That’s not good for them, their customers or the corporate travel buyer. I’m just raising a glass of Christmas cheer in the hope they’ll work this one out, and the quicker the better.
This post was written by David Chapple, event director of Business Travel Show – www.businesstravelshow.com.